400 in ’15: #391: Mission: Impossible III

I’ve taken on the challenge of trying to watch 400 films in 2015. I will update this blog after each one and hopefully write a small blurb (NOT necessarily a review) about it. Come along for the journey, won’t you!?

Number: 391
Film: Mission: Impossible III
Released: 2006
Director: J.J. Abrams
Viewed previously?: Yes

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See, now this is more like it.

This movie is 100% better than II from the get-go. The cold open is fantastic and establishes that some heavy shit is about to go down.

Then we cut to present time and Ethan Hunt is now engaged and has seemingly scaled down his IMF role to try out “normal life” which I don’t mind. Six years have passed since the previous film and introducing a love interest in this way makes far more sense than the “love at first sight” bullshit in the second film.

Anyway, he is of course called back into action to stop Philip Seymour Hoffman (who is so fantastically low key menacing) from getting his hands on a strange weapon he is looking to sell for nearly a billion dollars.

Basically, it’s the setup for a bunch of awesome heist/sneaky action that was SORELY missing from the second film. And that’s why this one is fantastic. Throw in some awesome action scenes (no Tom Cruise doing out of place Kung Fu shit this time, thankfully) and you’ve got yourself a pretty fuckin’ great time.

Also our first introduction to Simon Pegg’s character, who would thankfully become a more prominent member in subsequent films.

I also only now just realized this was J.J. Abrams’ first feature film and that makes it even cooler.

400 in ’15: #390: Mission: Impossible II

I’ve taken on the challenge of trying to watch 400 films in 2015. I will update this blog after each one and hopefully write a small blurb (NOT necessarily a review) about it. Come along for the journey, won’t you!?

Number: 390
Film: Mission: Impossible II
Released: 2000
Director: John Woo
Viewed previously?: Yes

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All I could really remember about this movie before I popped it in was the ridiculous motorcycle chase near the end.

Watching it today made me realize that it’s completely bonkers.

I don’t think it’s any stretch at all to say it’s the worst film in the series. Let’s just get that out of the way quickly.

How or why John Woo was chose to direct this still baffles me, and I like John Woo films…I just don’t see how anyone thought his style was a good idea for what should be a spy thriller. It really does devolve into straight up action stunt-fest near the end and not entirely in a good way.

Maybe it’s because we’ve since seen the series grow and sort of expand in better ways, but the action and feel here are just “cheap” for lack of a better word. It’s easy to see a movie desperately trying to be bigger and badder, but it mostly fails.

And it’s not just the crazy action sequences either. It’s everything in between just as much, if not more.

Ethan Hunt has fallen in love pretty much 20 minutes into the movie. For no other reason than we need Thandie Newton (who looks amazing in this movie, btw) to drive the plot forward and be a bit of a damsel in distress and it’s so, so, so hamfisted it hurts.

Then there’s the mask bullshit. It played awesomely in the first film because it was something cool and unexpected. Here, pretty much everyone is pulling off a mask every 20 minutes after masquerading as someone else and it’s absurd and kills any coolness or significant plot twist moment dead in the water.

I don’t HATE this movie, but it’s so, so goofy compared to all the other ones and just feels so dumb watching it now.

Very much a weird outlier in the franchise if you ask me.

400 in ’15: #389: Mission: Impossible

I’ve taken on the challenge of trying to watch 400 films in 2015. I will update this blog after each one and hopefully write a small blurb (NOT necessarily a review) about it. Come along for the journey, won’t you!?

Number: 389
Film: Mission: Impossible
Released: 1996
Director: Brian De Palma
Viewed previously?: No

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Time go to back to where it alllll started.

I remember seeing this as a teenager, only half paying attention and being slightly confused by it.

Watching it now just reveals it to be a slick little spy thriller with BETRAYALS and red herrings and so on. It’s pretty great stuff.

It feels a little “smaller” and moodier than the other films. Something that is probably extra apparent after having just watched rogue nation, and it’s actually kind of cool. I also had NO idea it was a Brian De Palma film. Kind of blew my mind when when I saw his name. It all makes sense now. The style and (again) “mood” is right in line with him.

It might also be the only MI film to not feature a shootout of any kind.

The helicopter/train sequence near the end totally makes up for it though. That’s pretty fucking bonkers even today, and compared to the other films. I loved it.

Great movie.

400 in ’15: #388: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

I’ve taken on the challenge of trying to watch 400 films in 2015. I will update this blog after each one and hopefully write a small blurb (NOT necessarily a review) about it. Come along for the journey, won’t you!?

Number: 388
Film: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Released: 2015
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Viewed previously?: No

Mission-Impossible-Rogue-Nation-IMAX-Poster

I love this series and I love Tom Cruise, which is why I was excited for this movie to come out.

And then I missed it in theaters because I am a procrastinating asshole.

I won’t bother running down too much of the story, but just know it involves IMF being dissolved, and Tom Cruise working on his own for a bit to try and uncover who this mysterious SYNDICATE organization is, and when he does, he’s got to GET THE OL’ BAND BACK TOGETHER and also avoid the CIA, who has designated them all rogue agents.

It’s more awesome gadgets in exotic places and more awesomely filmed action scenes in exotic places and that’s all I wanted.

It’s fantastic without being terribly over the top or goofy, but at the same time the whole thing just feels FUN and that’s part of what makes these films so fun to watch.

Tom Cruise still has it. And by “it” I mean everything. Dude is a fuckin’ machine.

There’s also more Simon Pegg in this movie than the last and that’s a huge plus for me. Such a lovable guy who turns in a fantastic performance.

I bought the Best Buy exclusive five movie set and watching this has totally made me realize I want to watch the others and so that’s probably exactly what I’ll be doing the next few days!

400 in ’15: #387: Seventh Son

I’ve taken on the challenge of trying to watch 400 films in 2015. I will update this blog after each one and hopefully write a small blurb (NOT necessarily a review) about it. Come along for the journey, won’t you!?

Number: 387
Film: Seventh Son
Released: 2014
Director: Sergey Bodrov
Viewed previously?: No

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This is a movie about Jeff Bridges and his apprentice as part of some sort of demon/witch hunters trying to stop evil witch Julianne Moore from destroying the world.

The best thing I can say about this film is that it’s a pretty standard fantasy action film.

It’s entertaining enough and features just enough character and charm to keep things interesting throughout, but it’s not something I’ll ever probably even think about again, let alone view a second time.

And that’s fine. It is what it is.

I had to mention Jeff Bridges and the absurd accent/speech patterns (I can only assume) he chose to employ. It’s both kind of hilarious and bad all at once. You sort of get used to it, but standing back and just watching and listening to him speak just makes ya wonder “why?” completely unnecessary, but I suppose if the man wants to ham it up he can do that.

ALSO, I could totally tell this was filmed in Alberta before I even went to check. It was really strange.

Also, also Alicia Vikander is gorgeous.

That is all.

400 in ’15: #386: Nine 1/2 Weeks

I’ve taken on the challenge of trying to watch 400 films in 2015. I will update this blog after each one and hopefully write a small blurb (NOT necessarily a review) about it. Come along for the journey, won’t you!?

Number: 386
Film: Nine 1/2 Weeks
Released: 1986
Director: Adrian Lyne
Viewed previously?: No

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I knew a decent bit about this film purely for how often it is referenced/mocked in other movies/tv shows. That’s about it.

Turns out it’s about Mickey Rourke getting into a weird relationship with Kim Basinger and kind of treating her like garbage and playing his weirdo sex games. But she kind of likes it. Until she doesn’t.

And then the credits roll.

And I, sitting alone, remarked to nobody in particular “well, that was kind of stupid” and turned off the TV.

Seems like a movie people might want to analyze on a bunch of levels and blah blah blah, but I don’t give a shit. I didn’t care about the characters or their stupid little fling.

The only real takeaway I got from this movie is that Mickey Rourke used to be a real hunk.

big ol’ MEH, here.

400 in ’15: #385: Run All Night

I’ve taken on the challenge of trying to watch 400 films in 2015. I will update this blog after each one and hopefully write a small blurb (NOT necessarily a review) about it. Come along for the journey, won’t you!?

Number: 385
Film: Run All Night
Released: 2015
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Viewed previously?: No

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This movie stars Liam Neeson in yet another role where he’s pretty much doing the whole “Liam Neeson is badass” thing he’s been doing for years now.

He is of course, an ex hitman down on his luck, depressed, possibly an alcoholic, and estranged from his son. When his son gets into trouble with the very crime family he used to work for, though, THE TABLES ARE TURNED AND LIAM NEESON GETS TO ONCE AGAIN BE A BADASS and save his son while trying to reedeem himself.

That’s not exactly a game changing plot, is it?

And you know what? I’m fine with it.

I’m always up for watching Neeson be a complete fucking badass. I don’t know how or why this happened, but I’ll keep on watching them if he keeps on making them.

Ed Harris plays the leader of previously mentioned crime family, and it’s obvious the two of them used to be very close, and when Neeson takes his son out, it becomes clear they are now going to have to fight each other to death and that’s perhaps the best little dynamic we have going on and Ed Harris plays it wonderfully.

There’s really nothing super special about this movie, but it works. There’s some good tension, some great action and solid performances from everyone involved.

I’ll take that any day of the week.

400 in ’15: #384: Saving Silverman

I’ve taken on the challenge of trying to watch 400 films in 2015. I will update this blog after each one and hopefully write a small blurb (NOT necessarily a review) about it. Come along for the journey, won’t you!?

Number: 384
Film: Saving Silverman
Released: 2001
Director: Dennis Dugan
Viewed previously?: No

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Jack black and Steve Zahn try to prevent Jason Biggs, a man with no spine, from marrying the stone cold bitch that has broken up their friendship.

I remember this have some mild popularity among people I knew when it came out. Despite that, I never bothered watching it.

It’s completely ridiculous and not exactly great, but I did laugh more than a few times and that’s really all I wanted out of it. I like Jack Black and he was pretty Jack Black in this film. Certainly the high note for me.

Also, has Jason Biggs ever not been really annoying?

I don’t really have much else to say.

400 in ’15: #383: Simon Birch

I’ve taken on the challenge of trying to watch 400 films in 2015. I will update this blog after each one and hopefully write a small blurb (NOT necessarily a review) about it. Come along for the journey, won’t you!?

Number: 383
Film: Simon Birch
Released: 1998
Director: Mark Steven Johnson
Viewed previously?: No

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Simon Birch is a movie about two childhood friends. One of them, Simon Birch, was born abnormally small and believes that god has a purpose for him.

It’s really one of those films that’s telling a story of two friends. It is of course filled with good times and also with bad times.

I’ll be honest and say it feels very “paint by numbers” in that regard. Of course, even being sort of predictable and a tad heavy handed doesn’t stop it from being an enjoyable film. It certainly is that and tells an entertaining story that tackles probably every human emotion.

I’ll be extra honest and say it didn’t really affect me as much as I was expecting, though. Perhaps that’s why I don’t seem to like it as much as some other people.

OH well! still enjoyable.

400 in ’15: #382: Embrace of the Vampire

I’ve taken on the challenge of trying to watch 400 films in 2015. I will update this blog after each one and hopefully write a small blurb (NOT necessarily a review) about it. Come along for the journey, won’t you!?

Number: 382
Film: Embrace of the Vampire
Released: 2013
Director: Carl Bessai
Viewed previously?: No

Embrace-of-the-vampire_(2013)

I watched this purely because I wanted to clear something off the PVR and it was the shortest thing on there.

Apparently this is a remake of a movie with the same name from 1995. I’ve never seen it and I’m sure I never will.

This movie is about a young girl attending universi…you know what. Why bother, this was a terrible movie. Since I’ve said I’ll write what I think about every movie I watch this year, just let me go ahead and do that:

Complete shit from beginning to end.

There.